Most companies do not understand customer service; even if they claim that they do
Joshua Davidson wrote this article
We have all been in the same position before.
You call a customer support line, only to be informed that the waiting time is at least fifteen minutes. You send an email out about a small crisis you’re dealing with on a product, to see an automated response about how important your message is, and that you’ll have a response back within two business days. You send a message on live chat, only to see it read and not responded back too, for hours.
Companies do not understand customer service.
Sure, they know what customer service is. Yes, they recognize the value in customer service. But no, they do not appreciate customer service.
Customer service isn’t just providing a service to a customer. It’s caring about your customers. More importantly, it is caring about your customers in the timely manner that they expect.
Let’s take a step back and think for a moment, what circumstances a customer is in when they come to you.
If they’re reaching out to a support line, customer service email, live chat, odds are, they’re dealing with something at that moment. Realistically, they are frustrated or getting to that point. They need help, they need assistance, and most importantly of all, they are hoping for you to deliver on their needs since, after all, they are have been paying you to do that.
Now when you have them waiting, what happens?
If you aren’t meeting their needs, it can grow from frustration to anger. Anger can translate to a terrible experience once they finally chat to you. Anger will translate into poor reviews, bad feedback left on your social media. Anger will worst of all, translate into sharing the bad news with everyone in their network. After all, you know how the old saying goes, bad news travels much quicker than good news.
This is where it gets truly frustrating, as an entrepreneur of a growing company to see from an outside perspective. Why is it that a prospective customer who reaches out via these methods do not deal with these obstacles? Why is it that you will receive communication back at the highest, most energized enthusiasm? Oh, that is right, because they want your money.
This needs to change.
This is one of the reasons why at Chop Dawg, we’ve ensured that the same people who provide sales and advertising are also doing customer support. It’s the reason why our designers, our developers talk to our clients as much as they talk to prospected individuals. Because everyone deserves the same attention, the same care, the same passion. It’s our job as CEOs, entrepreneurs, executives to ensure this is the company culture that is set.
We’ve all been in a position where we need customer support for a company. It can and will happen, that’s okay. I’ve never met an irrational consumer in this circumstance. We all get it. We’ve also all been in the position where exceptional support, an incredible team, assisted us and went above and beyond. What happened after that? You, as the consumer, are more in love with them than ever. You’ve not only established more trust with someone who is already paying you, but you’ve also realistically increased your lifetime value of them being your customer. Think about that for a minute.
Here is an example. We made a mistake with a client a few weeks back, a relatively new client too. We accidently quoted them for an out of scope item, when in fact, it was already in their scope of work. Of course, at first, they are frustrated by this. After all, we are charging them for something we just informed them wouldn’t cost extra. However, after immediately catching this issue, we didn’t just say oops. We apologized. Sincerely apologized.
We got on the phone, explained what happened, that it was our fault, that it wouldn’t happen again, and honestly said sorry for causing an inconvenience, frustrating them, and the lost time due to the discussion needed to take place.
You know what happened? Not only did they understand (crazy how that works when you share your context, right), their trust in us has grown. We have an even better relationship now for owning up to our mistake, catching it immediately, sharing with their our perspective, and how we resolved it is moving forward.
The level of detail, the response time, the amount of care is your secret weapon as a company. Too many businesses disregard this or put it in automation mode. Do not let the same thing happen to you. If you leverage this right, not only will have repeat customers for life; you’ll have a competitive industry over not just your competitors, but the entire market. Don’t be lazy. Do what is right for the customer, and you’ll always win.